Rustom is a 2016 Indian Hindi-language crime thriller film written by Vipul K Rawal and directed by Tinu Suresh Desai. It stars Akshay Kumar, Ileana D’Cruz, Arjan Bajwa and Esha Gupta in lead roles. The film is loosely based Yeh Rastey Hain Pyar Ke(1963) on the K. M. Nanavati v. State of Maharashtra court case, and narrates the story of a Naval Officer whose wife has an extramarital affair with a businessman. Made on a budget of ₹500 million (US$7.0 million), the filming began in February 2016, and it was theatrically released in clash with the film Mohenjo Daro on 12 August 2016 in Indian cinemas. It has grossed over ₹2.1 billion (US$29 million) worldwide at the box office, emerging as one of the highest-grossing Indian films. At the 64th National Film Awards, Akshay Kumar received the National Film Award for Best Actor for his performance as Rustom Pavri.
In 1959, Parsi Indian Naval Officer Rustom Pavri (Akshay Kumar), is happily married to Cynthia Pavri (Ileana D’Cruz). Their marriage hits the rocks when Rustom discovers about his wife’s affair with his friend Vikram Makhija (Arjan Bajwa). After returning early from his ship’s deployment, Rustom discovers Vikram’s love letters in Cynthia’s cupboard. While trying to find her, Rustom sees them together. He returns home and waits for Cynthia to return and then confronts her with the love letters, but walks away before Cynthia can explain. Rustom then gets himself a pistol from the Naval Ship’s Armory and makes a Trunk call to Defence Secretary K.G. Bakshi at Defence HQ, New Delhi. Afterwards, he searches for Vikram, first in his office and then at his home. After Rustom enters Vikram’s bedroom, the servant hears three gunshots and rushes to the room, to discover Vikram’s body in a pool of blood and Rustom walking away with the pistol in his hand. Rustom immediately surrenders to the police and Inspector Vincent Lobo (Pavan Malhotra) starts the investigation.
Vikram’s sister Priti Makhija (Esha Gupta) meets with the public prosecutor, Lakshman Khangani (Sachin Khedekar) to get Rustom the toughest punishment possible. Truth, a local newspaper, publishes the news adding some spice to it, which creates a stir in the city. On one side, the Navy supports its officer and asks the police to hand over his custody to them while on the other side the Parsi community offers help by hiring a good defence lawyer. Rustom refuses everybody’s help and decides to fight the case on his own and prefers police custody. While the Editor in Chief of Truth, Erich Billimoria (Kumud Mishra), creates a sympathetic image for Rustom in public, Rustom’s senior Naval officer Rear Admiral Prashant Kamath (Parmeet Sethi) sends two goons to his house to search for a set of documents, but they fail to find anything. Scared, Cynthia rushes to jail to inform Rustom, who hasn’t talked to her ever since he is in custody. Rustom finally meets and listens to Cynthia’s story, about how she was lonely and upset when Rustom went away to London for many months. With the connivance of Priti, Vikram took advantage of Cynthia’s loneliness and she fell for him. However, on the day of Vikram’s murder, Cynthia had already broken-up with him for the sake of her marriage after she found out he had deceived her. Vikram couldn’t bear her spurning him and slapped her hard. She got injured and walked out of Vikram’s house.
On Rustom’s instructions, Cynthia blackmails Kamath for Rs 50 million in exchange for the vital documents he needed. In the court hearing, Rustom unexpectedly pleads not guilty in front of the Judge Patel (Anang Desai), which leads to a 9-member jury trial. At the culmination of the trial, Rustom is found not guilty by the jury since he shot Vikram in self-defence. Meanwhile, it is found that Lobo was in Delhi and he had met Bakshi to obtain the recording of the trunk call that Rustom had made. When back in Bombay, the trunk call is played, convincing almost everyone that Rustom is guilty, and the court proceedings end for the jury to decide on their opinion. In the police station on the night of the court proceeding, Rustom tells Lobo the truth: he was posted in London in 1958 for several months inspecting an aircraft carrier that the Navy wants to purchase, but on inspection, it was found by Rustom that the carrier’s hull was corroded, and it would have to be repaired and modified before the carrier could be transferred to India. Vikram was lobbying for the aircraft carrier to be bought by India, and he, along with Kamath, attempted to bribe him in order to convince him to say that the carrier is seaworthy. When Rustom attempted to notify Bakshi in London, Bakshi also attempted to bribe him and get the carrier to India. Vikram attempted to persuade him and Rustom then slapped him showing him the power of his uniform. Vikram had dated Cynthia to show Rustom his power of money and take revenge on him, but never really liked her for real. Rustom, angry at Vikram’s revenge, got a pistol from the Naval Ship’s armory , then called Bakshi telling him he wasn’t going to spare Vikram and that he had papers exposing the carrier’s unworthyness for the Navy. Rustom then went to Vikram’s house and shot him, killing the traitor. Bakshi then sent Kamath to get the documents which Rustom said he had and on Lobo asking for the recording of the trunk call, gave him half the recording to hide his corruption. Lobo is told that Rustom did not reveal about the aircraft carrier as then everyone would think the Navy to be corrupt and then not believe in them just because of few officers. Rustom then reveals that he never actually had any documents relating to the proof that the carrier was damaged. The next day, Rustom is declared not guilty by the judge and the jury. Rustom and Cynthia walk out of the court with their heads held up high.
The film rolls into the credits, showing the couple settled in Canada. In the end, it is shown that after Rustom’s trial, the jury system was abolished in India and Bakshi committed suicide by shooting himself on the INS Vikrant. Another news paper clipping shows an anonomyus donor donated several crores to the primeminister’s relief fund. While at home in Canada, Rustom is seen reading a newspaper that has a headline stating India becomes the fourth nation to acquire a navy aircraft carrier.
Akshay Kumar as Commander Rustom Pavri based on real life ex-naval officer K. M. Nanavati
Ileana D’Cruz as Cynthia Pavri, Commander Rustom Pavri’s wife
Arjan Bajwa as Vikram Makhija
Esha Gupta as Preeti Makhija, Vikram’s sister
Pavan Malhotra as Senior Inspector Vincent Lobo
Usha Nadkarni as Jamnabai, Cdr Pavri’s maid servant
Sachin Khedekar as Public Prosecutor Lakshman Khangani, based on real life Ram Jethmalani
Kumud Mishra as Erich Billimoria, editor and publisher of Truth, based on real life Russi Karanjia who published Blitz
Anang Desai as Judge Patel
Parmeet Sethi as Rear Admiral Prashant Kamath, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet (FOCWF)
Indraneel Bhattacharya as Captain C. P. Cherian
Kanwaljit Singh as Defense Secretary K. G. Bakshi
Brijendra Kala as head constable Tukaram
Gireesh Sahedev as Lt Cdr Pujari
Abhay Kulkarni as Inspector Patil
Varun Verma as Lt Bisht
Sammanika Singh as Rosy, receptionist in Vikram’s office
Deepak Gheewala as Bhanabhai, Vikram’s house help
Ishteyak Khan as Chandu
Naman Jain as Dagdu
Subhashis Chakraborty as Ranjit Das, hotel waiter
Vipul K. Rawal as Captain
Suresh Sippy as Chief saheb
Rajesh S. Khatri as Damodar
Samir Shah as Ramesh Shirke
Haresh Khatri as Dr. Asher
Homi Wadia as Advocate Sohrab Khandwala
Mohit Satyanand as Jamshedji Jeejabhoy
Ranjan Raj as Ticket blackmailer
Rama Kant Sharma as East Indian Jury